Thursday, December 3, 2015

Tablet Doodle

Playing around a little bit with my newest creative tool: The touch tablet.

This was created with the ArtRage app on a Microsoft Surface Pro.

Sweet dreams <3

Monday, October 26, 2015

Fall Fire

It's late October, and the leaves are peaking here in the Shenandoah Valley.

Here are some shots from yesterday's walk around Third Battle of Winchester.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Swallows and SeƱoritas

Working on a piece for the Hispanic Heritage show at Shenandoah Arts Council next month.

In the past I've had a hard time capturing the movement and distinctive tails of swallows, but I'm happy with how these turned out.

Reverse glass painting is becoming a favorite medium of mine. Because the first layer of paint will show at the top, it's like painting backwards.

 I like the heavy contour lines, they really make the bright colors pop.

Working on this piece, I've been trying to channel Leo Politi, the artist responsible for the beautiful "The Blessing of the Animals" mural at Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles:

You know what I just learned about this mural that makes me love it even more? The characters depicted in it are inspired by real people (and animals):

Dedicated on April 4, 1978 by Cardinal Timothy Manning, the mural recalls some of the people who participated in the ceremony over the years: a blind harp player who performed the song "La Paloma" during the sparsely attended processions during the 1940's; a tall thin violinist who regularly played on Olvera Street and was the basis for the grandfather in Politi's classic children's book "Pedro, the Angel of Olvera Street"; a lady with poodles who worked in a booth on Olvera Street; and Emmet and Oscar - Politi's own dogs under the stairway.

So if you're in LA, be sure to visit Olvera Street and admire Politi's work in person! And grab a churro while you're at it. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Finding Buddha In Bangkok: Art Preview

I'm working on a book about my time as an English teacher in Thailand, and created some stamps to help liven up the pages. Here's a quick peek of them, freshly carved and inked up.

Summer has been a busy time of moving and renovations, but I'm happy to be settling into my new studio now and ready to get back down to business.

Here's the Zen Gnome that lives on the front porch now. He was a housewarming gift from Josh's mom.

Oh, and here's something fun: A photographer from the local newspaper snapped a photo of me while I was out with my notebook and watercolors. Clearly a slow news day for Winchester, but I'll take it :-)

Friday, July 10, 2015

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Inside my notebook.

I've been making a habit of spending time in my Moleskine watercolor journal almost every day. It's been equally successful as a therapeutic practice as an artistic practice.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Drawing and Writing My Way Home.

At home in my notebook.

It's been a while.

The creative impulse, which had felt stifled and sad for many months, seems to be flowing freely once again.

And finally I don't ask what the point is.

It brings me back to my authentic self, my truth, my heart's desire.

And that's good enough for me.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Mounting Stamps

A friend asked me to carve a stamp of a petunia, and it seemed like a great excuse to try something I've been wanting to do for a long time: mount one of my handmade stamps on a block of wood.

I purchased a wooden block from a craft store for about $2 and used this as the template for the stamp.  After the carving was complete, I used a brayer to apply acrylic paint to it and stamped the image on the top of the block.

I suppose I could have waited until after I'd cut the block to stamp it, but was impressed to find that the paint held up so well through the sawing and sanding.

I took the advice of this tutorial I found on a site about letterboxing (something I'd love to try!), and scored the back of the stamp, then used Goop Glue to adhere it to the block.

After everything was dry, I pulled out my watercolors to add some pigment.  I love that the color is a bit transparent and the grain of the wood is still visible.  The final step was coating the entire block with a clear finish.

Hopefully it holds up well.

Have I mentioned that I've been playing with my stamps in Illustrator?  It's a lot of fun!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Tea Time

Long winters call for a wide variety of warming beverages.

Enjoying a hot cuppa on top of Signal Nob in George Washington National Forest.

Getting organized.

We mounted a sheet of metal to the kitchen wall and magnetized our tea tins.

The herbs found glass homes.

Exploring new tea shops.

Inside Lost Dog Coffee in Shepherdstown, WV.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Stamp Making Process

I can't seem to tear myself away from my desk these days.  I've got a secret project in the works, which hopefully I'll be able to share with you soon.

For now here's a quick look at the process behind the hand-carved stamps I've been making.  

I start with a drawing, which I cut out with a fine-point blade.

Placing the images on the rubber.

With a pencil, I trace the cut-outs to make a silhouette, then add the detail by hand.

Cutting out the individual stamps.

Carving the stamp.

The finished product: An inked stamp and the stamped image on paper.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Hello, World

Spring spring spring.

Breathing new life into my heart and hands.

And I have come home again.  Living in the creative flow.  With a notebook beside my bed, and visions that lure me to my desk in the early hours.

My room my room my room.

It's a pleasant place to lose myself.

Thank You.

Thank You.

Thank You.